Cabinets on workshop walls or no cabinets...

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Forum topic by Pabs posted 10-25-2012 06:15 PM 3205 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Pabs's profile


236 posts in 3419 days

10-25-2012 06:15 PM

hey all

quick question/poll

in your workshops, do you prefer having wall cabinets or simply putting tools on racks, pegboards, etc.

I have a lot of wall cabinets. salvaged and old kitchen that had nice cabinets. They said, help me take them down and you can have them! sweet deal!

anyway, I’ve had them for a while now and every now and again I ask myself what would be better… keeping the cabinets or taking them down. The one advantage is that it keeps the dust down… but they also take up a lot of room..

anyway, just curious what you guys prefer and why

and if you have pics of your shops, post away, always looking for different ideas on setting up the shop



-- Pabs

26 replies so far

View Earlextech's profile


1160 posts in 2655 days

#1 posted 10-25-2012 06:24 PM

I have both. Some things should be behind doors and other things shouldn’t.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

View Albert's profile


508 posts in 3554 days

#2 posted 10-25-2012 06:31 PM

I have some open shelves and some pegboard. I have trouble remembering what is behind the closed doors of cabinets.

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2649 days

#3 posted 10-25-2012 06:52 PM

I think if you have them, then use them! If not I prefer open shelves.

View Richforever's profile


757 posts in 3685 days

#4 posted 10-25-2012 07:03 PM

I think cabinets use the space better and keep dust off the tools. I’m planning more cabinets for my garage/shop.

-- Rich, Seattle, WA

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 2948 days

#5 posted 10-25-2012 07:04 PM

In all the shops I’ve had so far, everything has been on peg board or on shelves. While its nice to see where everything is, things do tend to get a bit dusty, and there’s this clumsy habit of knocking things off the wall while reaching for something else.

Since your question is regarding preference of one over the other. I’ve been thinking of cabinets with peg board combined for tool storage. For myself I see cabinets as a way of freeing up much needed premium wall space, as opposed to hogging up wall space with peg board.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4183 days

#6 posted 10-25-2012 07:42 PM

I love the fact that the tools in my cabinet stay nice and clean, as opposed to all the dust my pegboard-mounted tools accumulate. I would definitely make use of the cabinets if I were you. I think to make the best use of the space, though, I would do some customization on the interiors like chisel racks and the like.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3123 days

#7 posted 10-25-2012 07:47 PM

I like a few cabinets just to cover chemicals and stuff that doesn’t get used often, like tile tools, drywall stuff, electric stuff, etc. Otherwise, I’d rather have some easy access hanging stuff, like pegboard and French cleated stuff.

-- jay,

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2649 days

#8 posted 10-25-2012 07:48 PM

Rich…the problem with cabinets is the uppers are 12” deep, lowers 24” deep…a qt of stain or a box of nails is maybe 4” deep. Things tend to get lost.

I always have plywood “castoffs” and once and a while will set up to use them as narrow shelf units (3/4” sides 1/2” shelves)...I leave the sides twice the width when I do the dados and then rip in half when I’m done (ensures that any mis-measure won’t matter since it will be mirrored on the other side). 4-6” width is usually more that enough and everything is visible.

As usual just MHO…

View agallant's profile


551 posts in 2851 days

#9 posted 10-25-2012 08:04 PM

I have them. I got them used at the reuse store. They are nice. I did over do it and had to take some down. I guess what I have learned is that workshop layout will always be evolving in my work space.

View sixstring's profile


296 posts in 2208 days

#10 posted 10-25-2012 08:10 PM

I have pegboards and my most used tools hang on them. When I’m done, I dust them off with the air compressor, along with the rest of my shop/tools.

The cabinet that I do have is filled with chemicals: paint, sealer, stain, etc… And it’s a sealed metal and locking unit. (I have kids.)

-- JC Garcia, Concord, CA : "It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission..."

View dbhost's profile


5705 posts in 3197 days

#11 posted 10-25-2012 08:17 PM

Cabinets in correct layouts are a huge storage bonus for shop walls. They help keep things organized, and dust free. Even in small shed workshops, good cabinet design allows you to make the best use of every cubic inch of space you have available.

Having said that. Pull out residential cabinetry is NOT what I am talking about, but rather more purpose designed and built cabs. Perhaps you could modify a residential cabinet to suit your needs, but out of the box as it were, not such a great deal…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View agallant's profile


551 posts in 2851 days

#12 posted 10-25-2012 08:27 PM

“Perhaps you could modify a residential cabinet to suit your needs, but out of the box as it were, not such a great deal…”

I don’t see what the big deal is with that. Mine were used kitchen cabinates that I got for like $20-$30 each. They hold all of the tools and jars that I can fit in them, do a good job keeping the dust out and after three years they are still in the same shape they were in when I got them.

View NiteWalker's profile


2736 posts in 2542 days

#13 posted 10-25-2012 08:29 PM

Cabinets for sure.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View RussellAP's profile


3103 posts in 2251 days

#14 posted 10-25-2012 08:41 PM

I’d like some for my finishes and abrasives, but for most things I need to be able to see things to find them. I’d go crazy looking for something in a bunch of cabinets and I’m not that organized about where I put things. Plus I only have one wall I could hang them on in my garage.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View Gshepherd's profile


1727 posts in 2166 days

#15 posted 10-25-2012 09:41 PM

Cabinets all the way, for lowers be nicer to have smaller drawers and tops more shelves. sometimes just make special cabinets for a group of tools as well…...

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

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